Apple will keep Fortnite off iOS until all appeals are exhausted, Epic Games CEO furious

Daniel Sims

Posts: 107   +5
Staff
The big picture: According to the CEO of Epic Games, Apple has turned down Epic's request to allow Fortnite back onto the iOS App Store and won't let it back on until Apple has exhausted all appeals after the recent court case between the two companies. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney angrily criticized Apple, believing it went back on its word.

In a series of tweets, Sweeney shared correspondence between his company and Apple about the prospect of unbanning Epic from the App Store. Sweeney says Epic promises it will adhere to Apple's guidelines if allowed back on in the first letter.

Sweeney, however, wants Apple to update those guidelines according to a court decision from earlier this month saying Apple can no longer stop apps from telling users about payment systems other than its own. Sweeney also wants to continue the discussion about the possibility of allowing competing app stores onto iOS, such as Epic's game store.

In its reply, which Sweeney shared, Apple said it won't consider any more requests to reinstate Fortnite until "the district court's judgement becomes final and nonapealable [sic]." The reply points out the court's decision that Apple was within its right to ban Epic and Fortnite from the App Store, and Sweeney thinks those appeals could last as long as five years.

"Apple lied," Sweeney said when sharing the letters. Sweeney then quoted an earlier comment from Apple that it would welcome Epic back onto iOS when it played by the same rules as everyone else. "Epic agreed, and now Apple has reneged in another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users."

This dispute started last year when Epic added an unauthorized payment system to the iOS version of Fortnite so users could make in-app purchases in the game without Apple getting its 30 percent cut. Apple banned Fortnite and Epic from the iOS App Store, after which Epic sued, claiming Apple's behavior is monopolistic.

Earlier this month, the judge ruled that Apple's behavior was anticompetitive but not monopolistic. The court said Apple had to change its guidelines to allow developers to tell users about outside payment methods. It also ordered Epic to pay Apple millions of dollars. Epic has since paid Apple six million dollars, but also appealed the ruling.

In his letter to Apple, Sweeney said that Epic had already disabled its payment system for Fortnite on iOS, though it can't update the game for those who downloaded it onto iOS devices before it was banned. Sweeney also said Epic would bring back the Mac version of Fortnite if the iOS version is allowed to return.

Permalink to story.

 

Hexic

Posts: 1,047   +1,556
TechSpot Elite
Sorry Sweeney, while I do believe your cause is [somewhat] righteous - you can’t cherry-pick court findings while ignoring your own wrong-doing in the first place. You’re trying to do exactly that by taking quotes from different points in time (and legal proceedings), and bending them to your benefit.

I don’t like Apple, but they have every right to banhammer you into oblivion until the court’s decision becomes finalized and enforceable.

You complain about 5 years of potential waiting - should have thought about that before you willfully and intentionally broke Apple’s ToS (as stated by your own internal documentation).

 

poohbear

Posts: 647   +557
Apple is already a trillion dollar company. How greedy do they have to be to not let developers advertise their own payment methods?? Share the wealth a little Apple!
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 883   +1,678
Apple is already a trillion dollar company. How greedy do they have to be to not let developers advertise their own payment methods?? Share the wealth a little Apple!

Because the monopoly and absolute control they have over ios and app store is why they are a trillion dollar company.

They lose this and worse, are forced to allow sideloading will kill that level of income.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,543   +3,030
TechSpot Elite
I'm kinda surprised Apple doesn't want such a big cash flow back up (under the pretense of following the rules). At the least it would've looked better for them considering they already look like a monopoly bullying others.

That said, I hope this move bites Apple back in the appeals process. As much as Epic broke their rules, Apple did publicly state during the trial that all Epic had to do was follow the rules (presumably to look better publicly)....
 

Watzupken

Posts: 332   +309
Sorry Sweeney, while I do believe your cause is [somewhat] righteous - you can’t cherry-pick court findings while ignoring your own wrong-doing in the first place. You’re trying to do exactly that by taking quotes from different points in time (and legal proceedings), and bending them to your benefit.

I don’t like Apple, but they have every right to banhammer you into oblivion until the court’s decision becomes finalized and enforceable.

You complain about 5 years of potential waiting - should have thought about that before you willfully and intentionally broke Apple’s ToS (as stated by your own internal documentation).
I agree that Apple have every right to ban them from getting back into iOS. Objectively, EPIC was the one that breach the contract and trust. Sure the contract wasn't fair, but when you sign it, you understood the issue and is signing to agree to what is on the contract. I think any companies dealing with EPIC have to beware that there is 0 trust with this company. For all you know, they will pull the same tactic and turn around and bite you.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 332   +309
I'm kinda surprised Apple doesn't want such a big cash flow back up (under the pretense of following the rules). At the least it would've looked better for them considering they already look like a monopoly bullying others.

That said, I hope this move bites Apple back in the appeals process. As much as Epic broke their rules, Apple did publicly state during the trial that all Epic had to do was follow the rules (presumably to look better publicly)....
To me, why allow them in when you know that they won't play nice whether you let them in or not? Its like would you allow someone you don't trust into your house? And even if Apple were to let them in, there is nothing that Apple can earn from them since they will very well redirect their users to an alternative payment solution. So to your point about big cash flow from Fortnite is unlikely to happen.
 

FF222

Posts: 275   +225
Because Apple's whole defense argument in the case was, that they only limit competition in the best interests of their uses, and because they now made it clear, that they also ban apps that do not violate the rules of the App Store and do not pose any threat to Apple's customers, they essentially invalidated their own defense and are forcing the appellate court to rule against them. Smart move, Apple!
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,543   +3,030
TechSpot Elite
To me, why allow them in when you know that they won't play nice whether you let them in or not? Its like would you allow someone you don't trust into your house? And even if Apple were to let them in, there is nothing that Apple can earn from them since they will very well redirect their users to an alternative payment solution. So to your point about big cash flow from Fortnite is unlikely to happen.
Redirecting is a layer of friction. They'd still get a decent cash flow from the app because people are lazy (or might even want to give Apple a cut). Apple is only hosting the app download, so it's practically no upkeep with lots of commissions (and at the least, some is better than none).

As for playing nice, again, more of a PR move. If Epic tries breaking the rules again, a more permanent ban could be justified.
 

Goamist

Posts: 15   +19
The way I see it, by allowing Epic back into the store, Apple will need to actually make the change to their guidelines and so it concedes to also open the door for other developers to stray from Apple's payment system. So they are fighting this very probable outcome as long as they can, reputation be damned.

What Apple really wants is to keep blocking devs from offering other payment options to other users. Epic happened to be the only company with big enough ... ahem... courage to challenge this monopoly and have enough cash to fight Apple in court.

If Apple was the knight-in-white-armour company that it wants everyone to think they are, they would make their own payment system more attractive than any other, WHILE allowing developers to offer alternative payment options. But at the end of the day, Apple just wants your money, the more, the better, period.
 

Kotters

Posts: 347   +241
Because Apple's whole defense argument in the case was, that they only limit competition in the best interests of their uses, and because they now made it clear, that they also ban apps that do not violate the rules of the App Store and do not pose any threat to Apple's customers, they essentially invalidated their own defense and are forcing the appellate court to rule against them. Smart move, Apple!
You didn't read any of the court documents.
 

FF222

Posts: 275   +225
You didn't read any of the court documents.
I clearly did, and it's you who didn't. If you'd have done that, you'd have read things like:
"Apple argues that its policies protect consumers against fraudulent attacks. The data is far from clear. What is certain is Apple’s decision prohibits information from flowing directly to the customer so that customers can make these choices themselves."
or that
"Apple asserts two business justifications for its app distribution restrictions. First, it argues that prohibitions on third-party app stores helps ensure a safe and secure ecosystem."

Also that "Here, the Court finds Apple’s security justification to be a valid and nonpretextual business reason for restricting app distribution", which is obviously non-sense in the light of Apple refusing Epic not for security, but merely business or personal vendetta reasons.

Next time read up at least the basics on the things you want to start and argument about!
 

ypsylon

Posts: 394   +330
Credibility of somebody who on purpose and with premeditation circumvented platform ToS and then claims it was wronged somehow is below 0.

I hope Apple squeezes every last cent out of that arrogant prick and still refuses Epic to come back as a cherry on top. I don't claim Apple is saint and obviously they want to protect the - creaking - walled garden as long as possible, but making Epic look stupid and get $ for that - Priceless!
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,935   +3,802
TechSpot Elite
The irony is stronk with this one. Epic did the exact same thing to devs that didn't play by their "rules" when it comes to the Epic Store.

"You don't want an exclusivity deal with us? Then you are not allowed on our store."
 

bviktor

Posts: 493   +822
A shame that sideloading wasn't forced on iOS.
Feel free to jailbreak your phone and lose all the safety nets that Apple provides. I don't want any cr@p on my phone, thanks. I chose Apple *because of* these restrictions, not *in spite of*. And clowns like Sweeney can cry me a river. Or even better, GTFO from this platform if they hate it so much.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,935   +3,802
TechSpot Elite
Feel free to jailbreak your phone and lose all the safety nets that Apple provides. I don't want any cr@p on my phone, thanks. I chose Apple *because of* these restrictions, not *in spite of*. And clowns like Sweeney can cry me a river. Or even better, GTFO from this platform if they hate it so much.
That's stupid. Apple didn't put those restrictions for "security", it's all just about you being forced into the ecosystem and paying them exorbitant amounts of money.

I just fail to understand how allowing users to sideload is a "security issue" if you, you know... don't sideload anything and you don't enable this feature in the settings. The only "issue" this brings (to Apple, not you) are apps that bypass the store and its 30% cut to any payments.

In the end, what you actually want are some of the worst anti-consumer business practices simply because you believe in something that others know for a fact to be untrue. You fully support this "cr@p".

My advice? Before believing slogans and PR talk, do some research.

PS: sideloading doesn't require you to jailbreak your phone. I can install any apk (downloaded app installer file) on Android if I specifically allow such a thing to be possible in the settings.
 
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